LONDON-- Rishi Saha, the highly-rated architect of the Conservative Party’s digital strategy, is departing Downing Street for a plum international role at public relations firm Hill & Knowlton.

Saha will relocate to Dubai to become regional director for H&K across Australia, the Middle East, Africa, and South and Central Asia.

Saha is currently head of digital communications at Downing Street, where he has essentially served as prime minister David Cameron’s digital strategy chief. He is considered a member of Cameron’s inner circle, having worked with the PM since 2007 to help modernise the party's image.

Before taking on his government role, he led digital efforts for the Conservative Party’s 2010 General Election campaign, helping return the party to power after 13 years in opposition. Saha was behind the launch of the MyConservatives web platform, along with such initiatives as WebCameron, and the ‘Pimp My Party’ website.

Saha was previously director of the Wave network of young Tories, after standing as Conservative candidate for Brent South in 2005.

At H&K he will work on global content creation and business development, with a specific focus on emerging markets. He reports to London-based chairman Sally Costerton and Dubai-based CEO Dave Robinson.

“An increasingly democratized media environment presents fresh opportunities and challenges for brands and how they interact with their publics,” said Costerton. “Rishi has already proven himself to be a pioneer in modern media relations and brings a fresh perspective to the agency with his background in political communications and digital. As an agency, we are increasingly looking to hire beyond the traditional PR talent pool to senior talent that will help address the evolving needs of our clients.”

In a statement, Saha said that “the challenge of serving the complex strategic needs of those clients across multiple territories is a tremendous one, and one I greatly look forward to taking on.”

"He's the most impressive Tory I've met - in fact one of the most impressive digital people I've met too," added Blue Rubicon head of digital Rob Blackie. "It's a great loss for them."